A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium

“An indispensible volume”—Howard Zinn

Chris Harman describes the shape and course of human history as a narrative of ordinary people forming and re-forming complex societies in pursuit of common human goals. Interacting with the forces of technological change as well as the impact of powerful individuals and revolutionary ideas, these societies have engendered events familiar to every schoolchild—from the empires of antiquity to the world wars of the twentieth century.

In a bravura conclusion, Chris Harman exposes the reductive complacency of contemporary capitalism, and asks, in a world riven as never before by suffering and inequality, why we imagine that it can—or should—survive much longer. Ambitious, provocative and invigorating, A People's History of the World delivers a vital corrective to traditional history, as well as a powerful sense of the deep currents of humanity which surge beneath the froth of government.


  • “I have had many people ask me if there is a book which does for world history what my book A People's History of the United States does for this country. I always responded that I know of only one book that accomplishes this extremely difficult task, and that is Chris Harman's A People's History of the World. It is an indispensable volume on my reference bookshelf.”
  • “The left ... has few accounts which convey as well as this book does the broad sweep of human history.”


  • 'The perspective of tomorrow'—Ralph Miliband on 'The Sickness of Labourism' in 1960

    "Jeremy Corbyn's victory means Labour's living dead have been vanquished—and English politics has come to life again". Tariq Ali, writing for the Independent, expresses much of the energy surrounding Jeremy Corbyn's storming entrance to become the next leader of the Labour Party.

    In 1960, 
    Ralph Miliband, writing for the very first issue of New Left Review, is far more sober about the Labour Party's past, present and future and the battle for socialism. To mark Corbyn's landslide election victory and the promised repositioning of the Labour Party, the Verso blog is publishing 'The Sickness of Labourism' from behind the New Left Review paywall. 

    “It is a very difficult country to move, Mr. Hynband, a very difficult country indeed, and one in which there is more disappointment to be looked for than success.” 
    Disraeli, 1881.

    The last General Election has had at least one beneficial result: it has shocked many more people into a recognition of the fact that the Labour Party is a sick party. And it has also helped many more people within it to realise that the sickness is not a surface ailment, a temporary indisposition, but a deep organic disorder, of which repeated electoral defeats are not the cause but the symptom. What this means is that the sickness would have been as serious if Labour had won the last election. Victory at the polls, given Labour’s recent history, policies and leadership, would only have delayed the crisis, for a while, and given the Labour Party an altogether deceptive appearance of health. This is why a proper diagnosis must take electoral defeat into account, but only as one element of Labour’s condition.

    Continue Reading

  • History Undergraduate Reading List: 50% off!

    All the books on this list are 50% off until Tuesday 8th September as part of our Back to University/Back to School sale. See all the books included in the sale here.

    The inevitable passing of summer is as good a reminder as any that while you may make your own history, you don't make it as you please. The books on our undergraduate history reading list below (all on sale at 50% off) offer even better ones.

    Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism
    Lineages of the Absolutist State 

    Both by Perry Anderson

    “A complex, beautifully interwoven account of Europe from the ancient Greeks to modern absolutist monarchies…Exhilarating.” – Guardian

    Continue Reading

  • After Corbynmania: an essential reading list for Labour (Blairites take note)

    Corbynmania stormed to victory on the 14th September as the left-wing outsider took 59.5% of the vote making him the next Labour leader. Today, he has announced his shadow cabinet and although it reflects gender parity, critics have already began to criticise a lack of female presence in top cabinet positions. Undoubtedly, uniting the Labour party will be tough and if they are to succeed in the ballot box come 2020, they need to address the most complex issues facing British politics today. They should probably acquaint themselves with the below reading list...

    Continue Reading